Howells go the extra mile for youth sports
The Howells are Fairfield American's traveling champions, especially for youth sports. Their son, Chris, has qualified for the World Series this year as the team's starting center fielder.
"We're very proud," Ray said. "It's been fun to watch the whole town come out in support of this team."
On top of that, Chris was also a running back for the Fairfield Giants Pop Warner Pee-Wee team that qualified for the Pop Warner Super Bowl last year in Orlando, Fla.
Ray and Stephanie travel everywhere in support of Chris' athletics. The trips have taken them all over Connecticut, to Worcester, Mass., for the New England Pop Warner regionals, and now to Williamsport.
"I can't think of a night when there weren't practices and/or games to go to all over the state," Ray said. "And as Chris has played, we've had to go farther."
The Howells have actually made two trips to Florida for football. The 12-year-old Roger Ludlowe Middle School student was also part of the junior pee-wee team that won the Pop Warner Super Bowl
"We've been good two of the years I've played," Chris said of his Pop Warner prowess.
Naturally, both of his parents are proud of him, because to reach the highest level in both football and baseball means that his teams must be extraordinarily successful.
"He's just very used to winning," Stephanie said. "He's just on these winning teams and we just all follow along. It's very cool."
Stephanie and Ray have two other sons, Tommy, 15, and Brian, 9, who have had their share of successes as well. Tommy Howell was an accomplished pitcher for the 15-year-old Fairfield Babe Ruth team that finished fifth in the state this year. Brian will have ample opportunity as he'll join the ranks of the Fairfield American's band of winners next year.
Both Ray and Stephanie admit that, while Chris and his team may appreciate the travel, they won't appreciate what they've accomplished until long after it is all over.
"They'll have fond memories looking back," Ray said.
Ray is envious of his son, but admits that living all of his childhood dreams with his son is even better.
"These are all the dreams that I had when I was a kid," he said. "But it is much better living it through your children."